Interview 2000

These last years, you focussed on the writing of texts for songs. Which conditions are necessary and essential for you to be able to write? Do you need silence, calm and loneliness? Or do you scribble some ideas on a notepad at any time? Do you write your texts on paper or do you work directly on your computer?
The very first condition is to be given a melody that moves me or that I really like. From that starting point begins a work that demands an intense and exhausting concentration: I really dread not to be able to get the slightest idea, the slightest valuable word, and I just can't think about anything else. I need indeed an almost total loneliness and I'm the kind to fill up a great bunch of pages before that the inspiration finally comes. I write drafts on a notepad, and when I have a first version ready, I type them on the computer.

Do you have some subscriptions for any newspapers, reviews or magazines? Do you have enough free time to read?
I have a subscription for "Les Inrockuptibles", "Studio", "Première" and "Vocable anglais". Unfortunately, except for "Vocable", half of the articles don't really interest me and I have hardly the time to read the other ones. I take some time to read rather irregularly. Recently, during a weekend when I was really exhausted to be active, I read that book - "Braban" written by Patrick Besson - that a friend offered me. And I had a burst of laughter reading every single page. I didn't know that author who has an irresistible sense of humour.

Do you spend some time watching the television? Do you have a subscription to the cable channels? Or to some satellite channels? What kind of programs most interest you?
I watch a lot of movies on the television, it's my favourite distraction. I mainly watch the cinema channels from the cable. To me, after an active day, nothing compares to laying down and watching a good old English or American movie in original version on one of these channels.

I think that you don't like going out to the movie theatres to see the new films as they are released. Do you watch a lot of recorded movies (on VHS tapes)?
I don't have enough time and energy to go out. And there are really enough good movies in original version on the television. So I can do without videotapes.

Are you an Internet addict? Do you spend a lot of time browsing and surfing? What are you attracted to?
I don't spend a lot of time browsing and surfing the net - the e-mails do require me a lot of time! -. I feel really interested in the biographical information I can find about other artists, for my astrological documentation.

Do you watch the music channels (MTV Europe, MCM,...)?
I had stopped watching them because, when I can watch, it's always the same things that are broacasted; things that bore me stiff. I had an other look recently and, unfortunately, nothing has changed. Musicwise, the only program that broadcast new and original artists is the program of Bernard Lenoir, on France Inter [laurent [ficsx22]: a huge French radio station].

We all remember the brilliant duet with Blur. Any news from Damon and his sympathetic band?
No, they are much too busy. I like them very much.

The compilations of "Francoise HARDY" are numerous. Can you tell us something about what would your ideal compilation contain? Without considering the songs that were hits and that "should be" on it just because they were hits ... and so on ... can you pick some songs that seem appropriate to help a new comer discover your world? What should he explore first?
In the songs from the past: "L'amitié", "Viens-là", "Tu ressembles à tous ceux qui ont eu du chagrin", "A quoi ça sert", "La terre"; The "La question" album. The so-called "orange" album. The song "Message personnel". Some songs written by Gabriel Yared such as "Que tu m'enterres", "Quelqu'un qui s'en va". The songs "Partir quand même", "Je suis de trop ici"; "La sieste" in its second version. The "Le danger" album. That's what first comes to my mind.

What are you listening to at the moment? Do you have some artists to suggest us?
Perry Blake, Ben Christophers, Emiliana Torrini, 2 albums of covers by Bryan Ferry and George Michael.

"La saison des pluies" means the season of the tears to you. What will be the mood of this album? Can you describe a color?
There is also "Crying in the rain", "Singing in the rain". I'm joking: it's a word that can be found in numerous songs. Moreover, I did not write most of the texts you quote. Eventually, since Virgin is not fond of "La saison des pluies", I will choose "Clair-Obscur" instead. I didn't dare, at first, because Bernard Lavilliers produced a song with the same name for Laszlo, and then titled the album with the same name. But I believe this is not important because I can prove that my song "Clair-Obscur" was written before he released the record that I mentioned.

You can't make up your mind between the "Palais des sports de Bercy" and the "Stade de France", can you? Seriously, is there any chance to see you in a small intimist place such as several FNACs? With Etienne or Olivier? Why not? [laurent [ficsx22]: The "Palais des sports de Bercy" and the "Stade de France" are two huge concert halls in Paris. The FNAC records shops in France have usually some space dedicated to small concerts or exhibitions.]
No, because I'm too old for that.

The world of the recording studios, the invasion of the computers, the digital techniques, and so on ... all this world has changed a lot. Which new techniques can bring you some satisfaction, a help in the process of recording a song?
The improvement of the quality of the sound is a source of satisfaction, but I'm kind of tired of the productions with too many programmed computer and tired of too artificial sounds.

And, on the contrary, which new constraints are difficult to cope with?
There is such a difference between the sound you hear in the studio and the result on domestic hi-fi devices, that it can lead to misjudgements in the real quality of what have been done in the studio.

The world of the records companies and the music industry have changed a lot and is turning into something always more and more commercial with short-time benefits. How you handle this situation?
Not very well: the new singers are more and more numerous and identical, such a few will survive.

Do you have projects related to astrology? Radio shows, TV shows, or articles for some newspapers... or even a book, why not?
No project for the moment, fortunately for me, because I don't know when I would have some time for it.

Which book would you suggest to somebody who doesn't know anything on the subject and who still associates astrology with a not very credible practice?
"La Condition Solaire" written by Jean-Pierre Nicola, "Pour une astrologie moderne" released through "Seuil" editions, same author. "L'astrologie Universelle", collective work, released through "Albin Michel" editions.

How is your life shared between Paris and Corsica?
I am a sedentary person and to travel make me nervous. If I were alone, I wouldn't take any holidays and would remain all the time in Paris. I go to Corsica for the summer holidays: we have a very beautiful house in a very beautiful place.

You've been living in Paris since you're a child. Which places, which parks, which monuments, which museums are your favourites? Which places would you recommend to a tourist or to a lovely couple for their very first visit in Paris?
Although I hardly walks there, I adore the old parts of Paris: the "Marais" - where Thomas lives - , the "Saint Louis" island. When I was living in the 14th arrondissement, I used to love the "Parc Montsouris" and the nearby streets. The area of "Saint Germain" is a real delight. In the 16th arrondissement, there are wonderful and extraordinary places and hamlets. The "Villa Montmorency" where Sylvie (Vartan) lives, the "Marronniers" street, the "Raynouard" street with Balzac's house.

General info about Françoise Hardy / Interview legend:

Date of Birth:
17 January 1944, Paris, France
5' 10½" (1.79 m)
Jacques Dutronc (1981 - present)
Born at 9:30pm-BST
Her son Thomas, whose father Jacques she later married, was born in 1973.
Sang the duet "Puisque vous partez en voyage" with her husband Jacques Dutronc, while her son played the guitar (2000).

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